Diane Hutchings, Republican, has lived in Clay County for 45 years. She is a graduate of Clay High School. During her freshman year, Diane was fortunate to meet her husband, Brett. They married in 1981 at Hickory Grove Church in Green Cove Springs. Diane and Brett have two children, Ashley and Kyle, and seven grandchildren. The Hutchings have been active members of Hibernia Church in Fleming Island, where the couple teaches Sunday School to preschool-aged children, since 2003.

Municipal Government

Diane’s background in both private sector and public service uniquely qualify her with a broad range of experience to serve as Clay County’s next Tax Collector. Diane’s public service began at age 31, when she was elected to the Green Cove Springs City Council. She served two terms from 1993 to 1999 and served as Mayor.

Following her 6-year tenure, Diane left municipal government and returned to the private sector. She spent the next 20 years focused on her career in the banking and financial services industry. 

In 2012, Diane Hutchings returned to public service when she was elected County Commissioner. She has served in this role for the past 8 years. On the Commission, Diane served as Chairman of the Board for 2 consecutive years. Her public duties in 2020 include Vice Chairman of the Infrastructure & Development Committee, North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, and liaison for the Chamber of Commerce.

Clay County Port Executive Director, Ted McGowan, said Diane’s work in economic development and transportation in addition to  her financial leadership have been profitable to our local economy.

“The job of Tax Collector requires strong municipal government experience; Diane has that.”––Ted McGowan

Diane’s municipal certifications include Certified County Commissioner (CCC) and Advanced County Commissioner (ACC).

Private Sector

Diane Hutchings is a financial industry professional. She began her career in financial services at Barnett Bank and transitioned into the investment side in 2001 by joining Salomon Smith Barney. In 2003, she joined Prudential Financial and was later recruited by a credit union in 2009, where she became the Managing Director of First Florida Credit Union. She holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation and has 25 years of experience in the financial-services industry.  She is a FINRA Series 7 and 65 Registered Representative with LPL Financial, a Member FINRA/SIPC and is Life/Health/Variable Annuity licensed in Florida.

Diane says that her public service, professional training, and professional business experience qualify her to bring taxpayers the highest level of experience and diligence.

In my profession, I work with private citizens and small business owners as a financial planner. My background involves assessing, goal setting, data collection, risk assessment, strategic planning, execution, and monitoring” said Hutchings.

Community Leadership

Commissioner Hutchings is dedicated to serving people beyond the requirements of her elected position. She is on the Board of Trustees of Orange Park Medical Center. Serving from 2012-2020, Diane’s long tenure on the OPMC Board of Trustees is noteworthy according to local attorney David King, who serves alongside her as a fellow Trustee at the hospital.

…it shows that she’s serious about the quality of our local healthcare system, and most importantly, that she truly cares about the neighbors we serve” he said.

Trusted leaders stand behind Diane Hutchings’ wide-ranging leadership. Diane currently serves as the President of the Governing Board of St. Johns Classical Academy. Along with the other Inaugural Board Members, Diane partnered with the Barney Charter School Initiative of highly-respected Hillsdale College to bring a classical, virtue-based education option to the families of Clay County. She believes in building intelligent, virtuous American citizens. St. Johns Classical Academy is an “A”-rated school in Clay County that serves students in kindergarten through eleventh grade. The school will enter its fourth year of operation in August 2020. Diane is committed to the mission of the school—to develop graduates in mind and character through a classical, content-rich curriculum that emphasizes the principles of virtuous living, traditional learning, and civic responsibility. 

In addition to her service to Orange Park Medical Center and St. Johns Classical Academy, Diane has also voluntarily served on the: Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as Chairman of Economic Development, Tourism Development Board, Transportation Advisory Commission, and the School District Health Education Advisory Council. She also served as the President of Clay Women in Business. She is a member of the Orange Park Sunrise Rotary. 

Political Affiliation

Diane is a lifelong Republican; she is on the Clay County Republican Executive Committee. Diane is pro-life. Republican Senator Rob Bradley said:

By all measures Diane is exceedingly qualified to serve as our new tax collector.”

Diane’s candidacy is also endorsed by Ginger Soud, who served as President on the Founding Board of First Coast Women’s services, the area’s pro-life crisis center covering Clay and Duval. She said:

Diane’s leadership in pro-life work has been extraordinary. She’s a true friend to the unborn; she is somebody they can count on.”

Ginger Soud was President of Jacksonville City Council (1999) and Executive Chairman of Billy Graham Crusade (2000) when Dr. Graham packed the stadium that week. Clay County voters have the power to elect the kind of person described in Mrs. Soud’s sincere testimony about her. Diane said:

I would hope to be remembered for the people I helped, the lives I touched. As someone who led as a servant-leader from the heart, who was a woman of her word, and who always did her homework and had a gift for bringing people together for the common good.” –Diane Hutchings

Supporting Veterans

Honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans is important to Mrs. Hutchings. As a child, her father was an Airman in the Vietnam War, having served America 20 years in the Air Force. Today, her son-in-law is an Airman in the Florida Air National Guard.

On County Commission, Diane voted in favor of “The Fire Watch” a new program focused on finding ways to combat the epidemic of veteran suicide caused in-part by PTSD and other factors.

During her leadership as Chairman of the Board, Commissioner Hutchings voted in favor of the new TAPS monument that honors Clay County’s fallen veterans. Her vote cleared the way to make the new monument a reality on county-owned land within the Historic Triangle of Green Cove Springs. The distinguished effort was spearheaded by retired Navy Chief Gary Newman, a Vietnam Veteran who is endorsing Diane Hutchings for Tax Collector. When Newman’s vision was finalized two years later, Commissioner Hutchings was with Newman that October morning to watch his long-awaited dream come to life, when it was unveiled October 9, 2017.

What impresses me most about Diane is that aside from her official duties in government, she has always participated eagerly in our local community. As a veteran, it means something special that Diane is always there. She gives the community something extra that fulfills a vital need; she cares. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if Clay County didn’t have Diane Hutchings in our midst” ––Chief Gary Newman (ret.)

Diane Hutchings is also trusted by the Clay County Firefighters who’ve endorsed her 2020 campaign for Tax Collector.

To our Military and First Responders, thank you for answering the call, for keeping our families safe everyday, and for serving others with honor. Bravery and courage is how our Veterans preserve the Constitution and keep America free.” ––Diane Hutchings